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The Weight of Silence

The Weight of Silence [Kindle Edition]

Heather Gudenkauf
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Product Description


'A great thriller, probably the kind of book a lot of people would chose to read on their sun loungers. It will appeal to fans of Jodi Picoult.' --Radio Times

'Deeply moving and exquisitely lyrical, this is a powerhouse of a debut novel.' --Tess Gerritsen

'Beautifully written, compassionately told, and relentlessly suspenseful.' --Diane Chamberlain

Product Description

<“Two little girls are missing. Both are seven years old and have been missing for at least sixteen hours.”

Calli Clark is a dreamer. A sweet, gentle girl, Callie suffers from selective mutism, brought on by a tragedy she experienced as a toddler. Her mother Antonia tries her best
to help, but is trapped in a marriage to a violent husband.

Petra Gregory is Calli’s best friend, her soul mate and her voice. But neither Petra nor Calli have been heard
from since their disappearance was discovered.

Now Calli and Petra’s families are bound by the question of what has happened to their children. As support turns to suspicion, it seems the answers lie trapped in the silence of unspoken secrets.

Praise for Heather Gudenkauf

Deeply moving and exquisitely lyrical, this is a powerhouse of a debut novel.
Tess Gerritsen

Beautifully written, compassionately told, and relentlessly suspenseful.
Diane Chamberlain

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1301 KB
  • Print Length: 379 pages
  • Publisher: MIRA (1 Dec 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RMSZ60
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,449 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Heather was born in Wagner, South Dakota, the youngest of six children. At the age of three, her family moved to Iowa, where she grew up. Having been born with a profound unilateral hearing impairment Heather tended to use books as a retreat. Heather became a voracious reader and the seed of becoming a writer was planted.

Heather graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education, has spent her career working with students of all ages and is currently a Literacy Coach, an educator who provides curricular and professional development support to teachers.

Heather lives in Dubuque, Iowa with her husband, three children, and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Maxine. In her free time Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, hiking, and running. She is currently working on her third novel.

Heather's first novel The Weight of Silence was a TV Book Club pick.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where are they? 25 Jun 2010
This story is spread over a sixteen hour period when two 7 year old girls both vanish from their houses on the same night, without a trace. Calli suffers from selective mutism and hasn't spoken since she was 4 years old, despite councelling and psychological help. Her best friend, Petra, understands Calli and acts as her mouthpiece to other friends and adults alike.

The book is written a chapter at a time by a different narrator: as well as the two girls, there is also Antonia and Ben (Calli's Mum and brother), Martin (Petra's Dad) and Sherrif Louis (who was an childhood sweetheart of Antonia's and is still in love with her). From the first realisation of a disappearance (at 4.30am) until the conclusion the reader is taken on a journey through the adults attempt to bring the girls home safely.

This may sound like the book is a thriller / mystery type and at times I did wonder if that was what it was trying to be: however if that was its intention then I'm not sure it works. There is a crime committed but it's pretty obvious "whodunnit" in both the girls cases fairly early on and the great revelation at the end falls a bit flat. The book really centres around Calli's muteness more than anything and her reasons for being that way. I also suspect that this was meant to be some great revelation too but again, it's not hard to work out why pretty early on.

I don't mean to sell the book short as, admitidly, it is a real page-turner. The short chapters that are alternately narrated by a different character means that the book has great forward momentum and I do like that in a book; one where you say "just one more chapter" and then again and again until you've read the whole thing before you know it.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
By Jackie
The Weight of Silence is the final book in the TV Book Club's Summer Reads selection and as I'm drawn to books about families in crisis I decided to give it a try.

The book follows two families who wake one morning to discover that their 7-year-old daughters have disappeared. A frantic hunt for them begins with suspicion for their disappearance thrown on numerous people throughout the story.

The book was fast paced and made up almost entirely of dialogue - this combined with the fact that the book was narrated by six different people meant that I felt I was just skimming the surface, never really getting to know any of the individual characters or the motivations for their actions. I was dragged along by the action, forced to turn the page by the continual end-of-chapter cliff hangers, but never felt any emotional connection to the characters.

There were some tender moments and I especially liked this paragraph about marriage:

"People say that being a mother is the most important job you will ever have. And it is very important. But it is even more important, I believe, to be a wife, a good wife.... I don't mean you have to be a floor mat. That not what I mean at all. I mean, who you choose to walk with through life will be the most important decision that you will ever, ever make. You will have your children and you will love them because they are yours and because they will be wonderful....But who you marry is a choice. The man you choose should make you happy, encourage you in following your dreams, big ones and little ones."

But these moments of genius were rare and I ended the book feeling a bit disappointed. The resolution to the mystery of the girls' disappearance wasn't particularly original or surprising and I felt that certain plot points were a bit dubious.

Overall this was a light, entertaining read, but I don't expect to remember much about it next year.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, moving, raw and enthralling! 21 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered this book based on a 20 word review in a book industry magazine. When I started it, I was enthralled from the first moment, enjoying the way the story unravels, loving the mystery and desperately wanting further clues to be revealed. This is a wonderful novel told through the eyes of several characters, allowing you to get to know and understand them and share their fears and desires. If you enjoyed Alice Seybold's "The Lovely Bones", you will love this book!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars expected more 1 Mar 2010
By Sian Louise VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I expected this book to be better... i thought the story of the missing girls would be based over a longer period of time when really it was under 24 hours.

An awful lot happened in those 24 hours, I don't know much about prodedures on missing children but apart from the parents there didnt seem to be a sense of urgency, considering the girls were only 7 years old.

However, I did like how it gave you bits of all of the characters, I would have liked to have had something in Antonia's husbands' prospective but than again maybe I wouldnt as he seemed whiny and seemed to resent the attention his wife gave to the children instead of directing the attention to him. Antonia I felt was a very weak character, she didnt want to face up to things and seemed to just go along with the husband and the way he treated his children.

I did guess who was behind the girls going missing, it wasn't so much obvious so much as just a feeling I had, whilst reading it.

It says on the front cover that all Jodi Picoult fans would enjoy this, I cant say whether I agree or not as I don't read her books but it might be worth her fans giving this one a go
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A fantastic read, keeping you enthralled to the end
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Well written, full of suspense
Published 3 months ago by Daphne
4.0 out of 5 stars Good thriller.
This book started off very slowly but built up to an excellent story. Told from different characters perspectives made it slightly repetitive but very interesting. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. M. F. V. Mcknight
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved It!
My first Gudenkauf novel and certainly not my last!

The Weight of Silence is an excellent thriller and will leave you guessing until the very end. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Nicole
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read.
Really enjoyed this read. Well written, will be reading the other books. I worked out 'who dunnit' during the middle of the book but the flow of the story and interest in the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by J. Neale
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced and enjoyable.
I couldn't put it down I have one more to read from this author and then I will be lost!
Published 5 months ago by Ida's mum
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked from the start
Childhood friends Callie and Petra go missing one morning sparking an investigation into their disappearance. Read more
Published 7 months ago by F Keegan
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Sixpence Story!!!
I loved it...each chapter written from the different characters perspective! Based on every parent's nightmare... two girls go missing overnight, one a selective mute... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Erika Jayne Sissons
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps you guessing till the very end
Such a great story, heartbreaking at times but with so many twists and full of surprises I really couldn't put it down until the last page. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Marian
5.0 out of 5 stars Second Heather Gudenkauf book read and enjoyed
As good as One Breath Away Brilliant want more of the same calibre I like the method of titling each chapter with a name.
Published 9 months ago by stephen taylor
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